Auckland Catholics launch appeal to help Cyclone Gabrielle victims in Palmerston North and Hamilton dioceses

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The Catholic Diocese of Auckland’s Caring Foundation has begun an appeal to help Cyclone Gabrielle victims in the Hamilton and Palmerston North dioceses.

Bishop of Auckland Steve Lowe says neither diocese has the infrastructure to host a national appeal and both are without a bishop at present.

“We have reached out to them to offer our support,” Bishop Lowe says. “After receiving their approval, I have asked my Caring Foundation to accept donations for families and individuals who have suffered unimaginable damage in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle.”

The Catholic Caring Foundation provides care and support for families and communities struggling with the effects of poverty and hardship. Since the heavy rain of 27 January, it has raised more than $140,000 to help communities throughout Auckland and in Northland. Since then, Cyclone Gabrielle has caused wide destruction in the Hamilton and Palmerston North dioceses, particularly in Napier-Hawkes Bay, East Cape-Gisborne and the Coromandel Peninsula.

“The recovery will be long and painful, but in the midst of disaster, we now can come together and make a difference, like New Zealand did for Christchurch in the wake of the earthquakes,” Bishop Lowe says in a personal letter urging everyone to support the appeal.

“You can make an online donation to the Caring Foundation today so that assistance can get to families quickly. With the threat of disease and sickness, your help is needed more than ever. Your donation will be used by the various agencies of the dioceses of Palmerston North and Hamilton in the recovery relief. Using their networks, they will channel what you give to those in need.

“Can I also ask you to pray for those in their time of extreme need, and those who are helping them. Even if you are not a believer, we join our hearts with theirs in solidarity in this time of grave need.”

You can donate to the Catholic Caring Foundation’s 2023 Cyclone Relief Appeal:

To get an emailed receipt, please email [email protected] to let the foundation know you have made a donation.

A personal letter from Bishop Lowe urging support for the appeal and giving more background is online here:

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Michael Otto

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